dns Engineer internet

the internet – think global act local – a brief Nominet history of uk domains

This is an extract from Nominet CEO Lesley Cowley’s speech at last week’s Nominet 25th Birthday party. She very graciously sent be a copy at my request because it contained some really interesting snippets worth sharing – so here goes:

25 years ago, the first .uk domain names were registered by a few individual internet pioneers. There are some interesting facts about the early days of the UK Internet:

  • the first domains were not in the format we currently recognise – they were in reverse order with the uk on the left, not the right.
  • Also, for a brief spell, some of the first domains were registered directly at the second level – such as, &
  • and, for another brief period, registrations could be made under .gb as well as .uk, before .gb was closed to new registrations. Threads about whether .uk should actually have been .gb continue to this day!

As things became consolidated uniformity crept in and the .uk domains as we now know them came into being.